We’ve explored some of the rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards out there, now we turn to the rarest cards from the release that started the Pokémon craze; I’m talking about 1st Edition Pokémon holographic cards.
Why are they so coveted?
Of the 102 cards from the original release, just 16 cards were of the shiny, holographic sort. That, coupled with the short run of approximately 10,000 copies of each card and the fact that the initial 1999 release sold out in a flash, makes these Pokémon cards some of the toughest catches. To this day, holographic cards are extremely condition sensitive and often incur nicks and scratches right from the pack. As a result, PSA 10s are difficult to come by and continue to reach new heights in trading card value.
Here’s a breakdown of the 16 sought after holographic cards and their approximate values, using info from PSA’s online resources like Auction Prices Realized, SMR Price Guide, and CardFacts.
1999 Pokémon Game #1 Alakazam – Holo
Average Value in PSA 10: $2,230
The magical Alakazam starts off the group. And though this card is less desirable than, let’s say, Blastoise, it still commands figures in the $2k range for examples in PSA 10. Like the other 15 holographic cards, Alakazam suffers from condition issues right out of the pack.
1999 Pokémon Game #2 Blastoise – Holo
Average Value in PSA 10: $5,977
If the fire-breathing Charizard and hydro-pumping Blastoise had a popularity contest, the latter is apt to put up a fight but come in second. This fact is reflected in the PSA 10 values of Blastoise, figures that entrench the water-type Pokémon as the second most valuable card of the set. You can probably guess what card comes in first. More on that further down.
1999 Pokémon Game #3 Chansey – Holo
Average Value in PSA 10: $4,450
You may think this pink, feather-eared, kangaroo-like Pokémon is funny, but the values this lovable creature can fetch are no joking matter. The #3 card in the set’s holographic issues can command figures close to those of Blastoise.
1999 Pokémon Game #4 Charizard – Holo
Average Value in PSA 10: $23,224
As the de facto face of Pokémon, much has been said of the iconic 1st Edition Holographic Charizard. Maybe it’s the spectacular artwork. Maybe it’s because Charizard has been a popular, powerful character since the inception of the franchise. Whatever the case may be, the card that has been likened to the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card of the Pokémon realm is, without a doubt, the most desirable of the set. In PSA 10, the card has sold for as high as $40k and regularly commands values in the $20k range.
1999 Pokémon Game #5 Clefairy – Holo
Average Value in PSA 10: $2,600
Now on to, arguably, the cutest Pokémon in the 1st Edition set, the adorable Clefairy. With its one-toothed smile and cuddly disposition, Clefairy stands suspended among a sparkling background, looking either confused or genuinely happy to be there, or both. If you can track down a gem example of the card, figures in the $2k range aren’t out of the question.
1999 Pokémon Game #6 Gyrados – Holo
Average Value in PSA 10: $1,750
If you can find a high-grade example of this flying dragon-like Pokémon to beam into your collection, figures around $1,700 aren’t uncommon.
1999 Pokémon Game #7 Hitmonchan – Holo
Average Value in PSA 10: $4,400
Though his name reportedly derives from Jackie Chan, if ever there was a card deserving of a Rocky-like montage, this one is it, and for obvious reasons: he’s never been one to throw in the towel and is always looking for that late-round K.O. This pugilistic Pokémon packs a pricey punch in PSA 10, too. Alliterations aside, one PSA 10 example recently sold for over $5k, with values averaging around $4,400.
1999 Pokémon Game #8 Machamp – Holo
Average Value in PSA 10: $1,000 in PSA 10
See the noticeable dip in price with the four-armed body builder? That’s probably because one holographic Machamp was included in every starter set. And every base set Machamp has a 1st Edition stamp. As such, Machamp sees the lowest values for 1st Edition holos.
1999 Pokémon Game #9 Magneton – Holo
Average Value in PSA 10: $1,550
In a classic “three is better than one” sort of way, the magnetizing triumvirate continues to draw collectors in and has yet to self-destruct in terms of value. PSA 10 examples can attract values of just under $2k.
1999 Pokémon Game #10 Mewtwo – Holo
Average Value in PSA 10: $2,170
As the final Pokémon to catch in the original video game and one of four legendary Pokémon, the fabled Mewtwo has an alluring mystique and entrancing artwork to boot. I’m no psychic, but PSA 10 1st edition examples of this psychic type Pokémon are apt to fetch figures in the $2k range, and one PSA 10 example recently sold for $2,750.
1999 Pokémon Game #11 Nidoking – Holo
Average Value in PSA 10: $1,638
One part Rocksteady of Ninja Turtles. One part Pokémon. Nidoking’s 1st Edition holo value is in no way toxic, commanding figures in the $1,500 range. His female counterpart, Nidoqueen, was later introduced in the Jungle series.
1999 Pokémon Game #12 Ninetales – Holo
Average Value in PSA 10: $2,725
When one tail, or tale, just isn’t enough, Ninetales answers the call. This majestic fox-like Pokémon is based off of the kitsune, a powerful fox from Japanese folklore, and has a propensity to lure strong asking prices. PSA 10 examples can command upwards of $3k.
1999 Pokémon Game #13 Poliwrath – Holo
Average Value in PSA 10: $1,581
With angry eyes and a breaststroke that would leave Michael Phelps in its wake, Poliwrath’s card values aren’t looking to sink anytime soon; they float around $1,500. Fun fact: when this easily agitated, amphibious Pokémon evolves from his earlier form, Poliwhirl, the spiral on his belly reverses direction.
1999 Pokémon Game #14 Raichu – Holo
Average Value in PSA 10: $2,296
Players of the Yellow version of the original video game were introduced to the world of Pokémon with the reliable companion of Ash Ketchum, Pikachu. After a steady diet of hard-fought battles, a well-timed Thunder Stone and ketchup – if you watched the anime – Pikachu evolves into the more powerful but equally reliable Raichu. Lots of face time for Pikachu throughout the franchise has likely contributed to the popularity of related cards, including this 1st Edition Holo Raichu. Prices over $2k for cards in PSA 10 condition aren’t shocking.
1999 Pokémon Game #15 Venusaur – Holo
Average Value in PSA 10: $3,605
The original four Pokémon from the Red, Blue, Yellow and Green (Green was only released in Japan) versions of the video game are Charmander (becomes Charizard), Squirtle (becomes Blastoise), Pikachu (becomes Raichu) and Bulbasaur (which becomes Venusaur), respectively. Each cute companion got its own version of the game. Just like Raichu, you can attribute Venusaur’s popularity to its video game origins and heavy face time throughout the franchise. PSA 10 examples of Venusaur’s 1st Edition Holo can grab upwards of $4k.
1999 Pokémon Game #16 Zapdos – Holo
Average Value in PSA 10: $1,494
The first of the original legendary birds in card form, followed by Articuno and Moltres in the Fossil series, Zapdos rounds out the holographic cards for the 1st Edition set. With an electric close to these iconic holographic issues, Zapdos can achieve values of around $1,500.
*Editor’s note: A previous version of this article noted the #10 Machamp at $180 in PSA 10, based off of Auction Prices Realized. Upon further review, that figure has been adjusted to reflect SMR values of $1,000.
17 thoughts on “How Much Are 1st Edition Holographic Pokémon Cards Worth?9 min read”
I have so many 1st additions. I have been looking for ways to sell them. Can you help me.
1st you should know that it is spelled editions and NOT additions. Check eBay. eBay is your best friend when it comes to trying to see what the value of something is. At least what people are willing to pay for something that is. Good luck!
I have many of the first edition pokemon cards; I have 90 percent of the ones posted off of this page, but have no clue where to sell them for a reasonable price. I would like to know a trustworthy and secure place, website, or something to where I can start selling them. All my cards are mint condition, have been kept in a binder and only been handled with gloves.
Logan, get those cards graded by PSA and that will significantly help you to be able to sell them! They can even give you insight on where you can sell them.
Hi, I just found my son’s old Pokemon album containing Pokemon cards from 1999 1st Edition. Would you please be able to evaluate their worth? I think some of them might be worth quite a sum. Kind regards.
Hi Pascale. PSA is neither an appraiser nor are we an auction house that sells the cards. We are simply the most respected and established third-party authenticator and grader of the cards. You may want to seek out an auction house in your area. They will likely provide you with an appraisal of your cards as well as an option by which to sell them, if that’s the route you choose. FYI: A complete set of PSA Gem Mint 10 1999 1st Edition cards sold for $98,000 in 2017, and a second complete set (also graded PSA Gem Mint 10) just sold for $107,000 last month!
Hello, I have all the first edition cards and holographics in plastic sleeves or hard case. What would the complete set be worth? I have all 16 shown on this page in mint condition. If you’d like I can video the cards to show them to you for a rough estimate.
George, it’s good to hear from you. PSA is neither an appraiser nor an auction house, so we would not be the ones to go through for that kind of info. Your best bet would be to seek out a local auction house and ask for their assistance. You can certainly check some pricing information in our latest edition of Sports Market Report; that would at least give you a barometer (of sorts) to check against. The bottom line is what your cards actually grade out as (condition-wise) and then to try and sell them at auction to get both the best exposure and traction for your set. Good luck!
How many cards are in the 1st set. will you post them. thanks.
If you are talking about the 1999 English Base Set, then it was released as a 102-card set. We do recognize the red cheeks Pikachu making it a 103-card set if you were looking to complete it through PSA Set Registry. If you want to know more about the set you can see our write-up by clicking here
I recently found out about your Pokemon card information and I have about five binder pages of them and was wondering about getting them appraised. Plus, I have a bag full of mainly gen 1 cards I think but what I mainly want to know is if there is a market for them or does anyone appraise collections?
According to our in-house Pokemon aficionado Joe Facundo, Generation 1 is a very popular group of Pokemon cards so there may very well be a market for them. But your best bet in order to learn more about the market and to get an appraisal of your cards would be to seek out a local auction house. Most routinely will provide free appraisals.
I have the whole set of 1st edition PSA 9 base set cards if anyone is interested.
This is a sad sad story…. I used to have every single one of these cards except for Alakazam and Mewtwo. I was in middle school at the time and Pokémon red, blue and the card game were almost at their peak… Me being the young and inexperience collector left me with not knowing proper value…. I traded my Blastoise and Chansey to a kid in school for Tony hawks pro skater and a controller to play the game…. Then the next day I brought in my Charizard to show it off to my friends…. Not wanting to damage the card throughout the day I decided to put it in my locker. Back then we had lockers that you could turn the dial 1 click to the right and shut the locker, allowing you to come back and turn the dial 1 cluck to the left and open the locker up without going through the entire combination process. My dumbass threw the card in the locker and did the lock trick, not thinking much of it. When it was time to leave I went to my locker and noticed the dial wasnt on the number I left it on, forcing me to put in the entire combination to open my locker. When I noticed this I didn’t think much of it because kids would come through the hallways and spin all the locks just so everyone had to enter the whole combination. The second I opened my locker I noticed that things had been moved around and not left how I had it. I placed the card between the pages of my science textbook and to this day I still remember the page of where I placed it. The textbook was now on its front side and I left it laying on its back side. I grabbed the book and frantically went to the page. Once I got there my heart sank and realized I had it stolen. I was upset about this for the longest time and left me with bad trust issues for the longest time because the ONLY people that knew I had the card were my close friends. I didn’t tell ANYONE that I was taking my card to store in the locker either. I went to the principal and guidance counselor and told them the entire situation but sadly nothing could be done. From that day forward our school banned Pokémon cards because this was the 2nd case of theft for the cards, “I didn’t know there was a situation of theft before mine”. Sorry for such a long rant but I felt this was a good place to share this story.
I have the whole 102 card set it great condition . A few first addition holographic cards as charzard. What is the whole set worth and are there buyers out there. Ive had these cards for about 20 years.